Why You Shouldn't Ignore Dry Eyes

Nearly five million people over the age of 50 have dry eyes, with women outpacing men by almost two to one. While some view this problem as a nuisance, the fact is that chronic dry eyes can lead to larger problems if left untreated.

Dr. Curtis Frank and our team of eye health experts here at Vision and Ortho-K Center understand the long-term implications of dry eyes. As if the discomfort weren’t bad enough, dry eyes can lead to inflammation, vision issues, and infection.

Here’s a look at what chronic dry eyes are and why you shouldn’t ignore the condition.

Behind your dry eyes

In the simplest of terms, dry eyes are caused by one of two things:

  1. Lack of tear production
  2. Poor tear quality

Your tears are made up of three ingredients: Mucus, water, and oil. The mucus coats the surface of your eyes and binds the tears to the surface. Next comes the water, which also contains vitamins and minerals. Lastly, oil prevents your tears from evaporating too quickly. If there’s an imbalance in these ingredients, it can lead to dry eyes.

There are many reasons why people develop dry eyes, including:

In many cases, meibomian gland dysfunction develops, which prevents oil from mixing in to your tears.

Why treating dry eyes is important

There are many reasons why you should seek our help for chronically dry eyes, not the least of which is the discomfort. Dry eyes can be scratchy or gritty, causing anywhere from mild to severe discomfort depending upon the severity of your dry eyes.

Another problem is blurry vision, which is one of the primary symptoms of dry eyes, outside of the discomfort.

Another issue with dry eyes is that they can make your eyes more prone to inflammation, abrasion, and corneal ulcers.

Lastly, your tears perform an important protective function, and without them, your eyes may be more vulnerable to infection.

Treating dry eyes

If you have dry eyes, our first order of business is to identify the underlying cause. For example, if the oil glands in your eyes are blocked, we work to free them up. 

Of course, there are times when we can’t do anything about the underlying cause, such as age or important medications. 

In these cases, we work to manage your dry eyes using:

Lifestyle changes can also play a significant role in helping you find relief, such as outfitting your home with a humidifier or avoiding certain triggers, like high-pollen days.

The bottom line is that there are many ways that we can help you find relief from your dry eyes and protect your eyes from further damage. To get started, contact our office in Boston, Massachusetts, to set up a consultation.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Evaluating Your Options When You Have Astigmatism

Standing between you and your ability to see clearly is astigmatism and you want to know your treatment options. The good news is that this condition is highly treatable and there are options from which to choose.

Your Options for Achieving 20/20 Vision

You know that 20/20 vision is supposed to be the norm, but you suspect you’re falling short as your vision is less than ideal at certain distances. Here, we explore what 20/20 vision is and how you can achieve it.

The Many Roles of Contact Lenses

About 45 million people in the United States rely on contact lenses for a wide variety of reasons. The applications of contact lenses are many, and most have everything to do with improving your eyesight.

Five Reasons to Protect Your Eyes From UV Rays

You enjoy being outdoors, and you’re diligent about protecting your skin against the sun. As eye health experts, we want to encourage you to extend this protection to your delicate eyes. Here are five reasons why.

How to Care for Your Ortho-K Lenses

You’ve opted for ortho-K lenses to correct your vision, and you want to make sure you get the best out of these lenses. Here are a few tips that will help you see more clearly for years to come.